ACW #608 – Blackhawk

Action Comics Weekly #608 (Blackhawk)
“Another Fine War, Conclusion”
Writer – Mike Grell
Pencils – Rick Burchett
Inks – Pablo Marcos
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Tom Ziuko
Editor – Mike Gold

Today is a most somber day… for it is the last time we will see our good friend Janos Pros… Prohaw… Prohesk… Blackhawk.

Well, for about seven weeks anyway.  He’ll be back in the saddle come Action Comics Weekly #615.  But, it’ll be a different writer, and a whole new set of challenges for our fella.

In memory of this arc, which I enjoyed loads more than I ever expected, I’ve put together a little slideshow… of the sillier moments.

We’ll see ya in May, Janos!  Thanks for the memories.

We pick up right where we left off.  Red Dragon blasts a hole into Robert Massie’s gut… and he slumps to the ground.  Sister Cynthia rushes to his side, and it’s here that it’s made clear that she is, in fact, a Nun… and not Massie’s actual Sister.  Though, since there’s no DNA evidence to the contrary, I suppose I shouldn’t make such a definitive statement.  Janos is shocked to learn that his patron is a Woman of the Cloth.

And so, it’s story time.  Cynthia states that after Vietnam fell under Vichy rule, Buddhist Leaders were fearful of religious oppression.  The Catholics offered their services to protect their artifacts until everything blew over.  Unfortunately, between then and now, these treasures found their way into the hands of the Japanese Military.  Massie was an Army Clerk, who happened upon the records, and took off in pursuit.

Cynthia hopes that by returning the Buddhist treasures, she could help mend relations between the Buddhist and Catholic Churches.  So, ya see… she wasn’t here for any gold… just that idol, so she might return it to it’s proper Temple.

Janos is relieved… but not for long, we mustn’t forget about a certain Red Dragon.  She ain’t hip to the jive of bein’ bamboozled, ya see.  And so, she demands her guests by pumped full’a holes.

Just then… there’s a loud rumbling… and a bolt of lightning hits a nearby tree.  In the distraction, Janos jokes that it must be Devine intervention… while socking one of the guards in the mush.  He and Cynthia then high-tail it to the jet, and go for take-off.

The Red Dragon takes off right after, and she ain’t shy about exercising her trigger finger.

When all hope looks to be gone… Andre and the rest of the Blackhawks join the dogfight!  Hey, it’s about time he showed up!  In fairness, he was at a “Saigon Cathouse” (his words, not mine), so he kinda had his hands full.

Red Dragon cuts in front of Janos, and opens fire… however, she is quickly overwhelmed by the Blackhawks.  We watch as she’s shot down, and see her bail out before hitting the ground.  Though… it kinda looks like her ‘chute might be on fire.

We wrap up with Cynthia telling Janos that he’d earned his reward… in this life anyway.  He’s just happy to know that she only turned down his advances because she’s a Nun… and not because he lost that ol’ Black(hawk) Magic.

Well, there we have it… Blackhawk: Another Fine War, is in the books.  It’ll be joined next week by Wild Dog: Moral Stand… so, it’s about to become a little different around the humble blog.  Some might say “it’s about time!”, then again, that assumes anybody is still following along.

I’d say this was a very satisfying ending… Everything came together, the Blackhawks were reunited, Massie’s dead (I think), and Red Dragon… might… have survived to strike back another day.  I’m no Blackhawk-istorian, so for all I know, Red Dragon could be among the tippity-top tier of his foes.

The “Sister Cynthia” revelation was well handled.  I was pretty sure the “Sister” title was in reference to her being a Nun (rather than Massie’s biological sister… though again, I have no DNA proof sayin’ otherwise).  I feel like her mission was just, and I’m happy she was able to reclaim the Buddhist idol (Heyyy, I actually called that one correctly last week!) to return to its proper owners.

All told, this story was a whole lot of fun.  Pacing was tight, it had a lot of “heart”, and it actually “put in the work” to set everything up.  Really, just can’t say enough good things about it.  Before actually “committing” to this little endeavor, I didn’t know Mike Grell ever wrote Blackhawk… it’s a bummer his run was so short!  He will definitely be missed… though I’m optimistic that Martin Pasko will do well once he’s handed the baton in ACW #615.

So, with a tear in our eye… we’re going to put a pin in ol’ Blackhawk.  In his place will be Black Canary, who we will introduce to the party in just two days!  Tomorrow, however… we compile and vote on Action Comics Weekly #608.

4 thoughts on “ACW #608 – Blackhawk

  • Charlton Hero

    They wrapped this up in classic BlackHawk fashion! With actual war planes!! I was literally "Afraid" this strip would end without the Hawks taking flight so looking at all parts as one complete issue it a satisfying Blackhawk comic. While I am ready for a new round of stories the first wave of Action Comics Weekly seems like a broken project out of the gate in need of immediate rebooting of the concept. Lets see what the new gen brings!

    And yes Chris..some of us are still following along..lol.

    • Haha, yes, they finally took to the air! Having no real frame of reference for the Blackhawk "Team", I was kind of gobsmacked when I realized that Andre was one of 'em! I really wasn't sure where that story-thread was headed!

  • Billy Hogan

    The plot twists in this final installment of the story gave it an extra punch. I thing the Red Dragon makes one more appearance either in another story in Action Comics Weekly or the short-lived Blackhawk title that was published immediately after Blackhawks's run in this weekly title.

    • Heyyy Billy! That's good to know, I was afraid that Red Dragon was going to wind up just a "loose end" that nobody followed up on (though, after her next appearance, it sounds like she might just become one anyway!).

      This entire arc has been an unexpected blast… was never expecting the twists and turns… and, what's more… I was never expecting it to become a highlight of my week!

      I only hope when it returns under Martin Pasko that it has the same level of quality!


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